With a population of just over 643,503 and a reputation of being the sixth-smallest state in the US, Vermont or the Green Mountain State is a cozy haven. It is the perfect place to move to if you’re a fan of quiet living and plenty of mountain and ski resorts.

Established as an American state in 1791, Vermont boasts of a long legacy of nearly 12,000 years of the indigenous tribes of Abenaki and Mohawk that speak the languages of Algonquian and Iroquoian respectively.

The state is also known for its lush range of green mountains which gives it its unique name; Vert Mont. It is known for its generally chilly or humid continental climate, scenic hiking trails, and a great variety of culinary delights – not to forget the maple syrup!

Thinking about moving from California to Vermont? Well then, here’s all you need to know before making that decision.

Things To Know Before Moving From California To Vermont

1. Weather

While California is known for its Mediterranean climate of dry summers and mild, wet winters, Vermont is known for its humid continental climate that often averages 42.08 °F.

The weather in Vermont generally tends to stay on the chillier side while the summer months of August tend to be the hottest in the region. In summers expect maximum temperatures to touch 105 °F but generally not beyond.

Vermont is known for being the seventh-coldest state in the country, with some winters seeing temperature dips as low as 2 °F. The nights often get even colder. The coldest month in Vermont is generally January with temperatures averaging between 14 °F to 29 °F.

However, Vermont is beautiful to experience in the late spring months of May to October, as this is when the temperature becomes fairly salubrious and perfectly suitable to explore the outdoor life and the activities that the state offers. The state is generally cloudy throughout the year.

2. Population Profile

Today, the population of California is more than the net population of nearly 34 countries across the world. With a population of more than 40 million people, California is the most populous state in all of the United States of America. Vermont, however, is diametrically opposite to California in this regard, as it has a population of not more than 623,251, as of 2021.

For every square mile of Vermont territory, there is an average of 67.9 people today, with the highest concentration of people in Burlington, which is the state’s largest city. The other more populated counties in the state are Chittenden and Rutland Counties.

Therefore, a sudden shift from one of the world’s most populated states to one of the world’s least would be a surprising and jarring change for you–but not in a bad way!

With regard to gender, 50.7% are females and 49.3% are males. Out of the total population of 623,251, Vermont has 94.16% of white people, 1.68% of Asians, 1.36% of African American or Black population, 0.34% Native Americans, 0.05% of Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders.

Therefore, while Vermont might lack the melting-pot quality that often characterizes sunny California, it has been home to many indigenous tribes for centuries and honors diversity and hospitality.

3. Language And Culture

With their own distinct ways of speaking, the Vermont dialect falls under the category of Western New England English. Not only do they pronounce their ‘r’s differently, but their Vermontian slang is also quite well known and distinctive.

If you have a friend who calls a soft-serve ice cream a ‘Creemee’ or describes an outsider as a ‘Flatlander’, then chances are that they have their roots in Vermont. They call their basements ‘down cellars’ and ice-maple candy as ‘sugar on snow’!

Vermont is known for a spectacular cultural undercurrent that has inspired and continues to inspire countless musicians, writers, and artists like Sinclair Lewis, Robert Frost, Robert Penn Warren, etc.–many of whom have been compelled enough to build holiday cabins in the state.

They have a rich folk and literary heritage that is demonstrated through festivals like the Marlboro Music Festival and Vermont Mozart Festival. The well-deserved fame of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra also stands testimony to the vibrant legacy of music that this state is home to.

The region also has many museums–like the Shelburne Museum and the Bennington Museum–that capture the regionality and history of Vermont as well as nearly 150 local historical societies.

A few culinary delights that this little state is renowned for are Chili Dogs (crispy hot dogs with fries, onions, and mustard), Fiddlehead (a creamed fern soup), Switchel (a rejuvenating drink made of cider vinegar, maple, molasses, and ginger) and Gravy Fries (French fries dunked in turkey gravy) which is the perfect hangover meal!

The region also produces a wide variety of cheddar cheese and maple syrup!

4. Economy And Employment Opportunities

While California is known for an ever-improving economy with a focus on entertainment, technology, horticulture, and travel, Vermont’s economy thrives on the following departments: agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism, and transportation.

As for agriculture, most of the farms in the state are dairy farms and more than three-fourths of the state’s farm income comes from dairy products. Vermont is the biggest producer of milk in the region of New England and is also the largest producer of maple syrup in the country.

The region also depends significantly on frozen foods manufacturing as well as tea and coffee breweries. Vermont’s economy supports small businesses revolving around paper and wood products. Owing to its scenic locations and historical tourist attractions, tourism is one of the region’s biggest industries, with opportunities opening for restaurants, winter and ski resorts, etc. every year.

The Tourism and Marketing Division of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development is responsible for harnessing the industry of tourism in the state.

The average unemployment rate in California is 9% owing to the fact that even though new jobs are being added to the roster, they are being occupied faster than they are created because of the general competitiveness and higher population concentration.

However, as of 2021, the average unemployment rate in Vermont is only 2.9% with an average monthly pay of $5,131, which is slightly lower than California’s $5,196.

5. Purchasing A House

California is not known for its low living costs. In fact, it is one of the most expensive states to live in in the country. The city of Los Angeles, California is roughly 56.9% more expensive than the city of Burlington–which is Vermont’s most expensive city.

This means that a shift from California to Vermont would prove to be quite inexpensive in terms of buying a house in even the posher neighborhoods in Vermont.

The average median home value in California is $727,370. However, Vermont’s housing expenses are 11% below the national average and it would cost you, on an average, around $322,545 to buy a house in the state–which is less than half of the former!

6. Renting A House

While California is known for its extravagant monthly rents, Vermont is a relatively affordable state to rent housing in. The median monthly rent for a studio apartment in the state is $772 and around $1,089 if a two-bedroom apartment is what you’re looking for.

However, a one-bedroom apartment of much the same size would cost you around $2,568 in California. Of course, you’ve got to keep in mind that this cost would vary depending on factors like location, quality, proximity to the city, etc.

7. Utility Bills

The average monthly electricity bill in Vermont would be around $95 per month, as compared to California’s $116. The average monthly water bill in Vermont is a mere $19, while it is a whopping $65 in California.

Average internet bills are $30 and $40 for Vermont and California respectively. The price of natural gas for California rests at an average of $34 per month and for Vermont, $89.

Therefore, while Vermont might not have the cosmopolitan Hollywood charm of California, the massive reduction in your utility bills will more than make up for it.

8. Taxes

The California State income tax rate has a ceiling rate of 12.3%, depending on your income, and a sales tax rate of 7.25% to 10.25%.

But the state of Vermont has a Progressive State Income Tax system which begins with 3.55% and has a maximum ceiling of 9.4%, depending on your level or ‘band’ of income.

The current sales tax rate in the state is 6%, relatively lower than that of California.

9. Education

California boasts of a sturdy education system that comprises a large set of public and private elementary, middle and high schools, as well as colleges and universities.

Some of the popular public universities that continue to attract people from across the globe include San Jose University, multiple campuses of the University of California–Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, etc.

There’s also California State University (CSU) and the California Community Colleges.

While Vermont does not boast of the same sheer number as California, it today houses 76,000 public schools and was once dubbed the nation’s smartest state.

A few popular, high-caliber colleges and universities in the state are the University of Vermont, Bennington College, Goddard College, Marlboro College, and Middlebury College.

10. Crime Rates

California’s crime rate stands at 4.40% per thousand residents for violent crimes and 21.30% for property crimes–with a brief yet unprecedented spike during the initial period of Covid lockdown.

Owing to the smaller area and population size, Vermont’s violent crime rate is at only 1.68% per thousand residents and 11.80% for property crimes.

Vermont is the fifth safest state in the United States, following New Jersey, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine.

11. Getting Around

In terms of commute, California definitely has so many modes of public transportation. You can depend on the Metro rail, MUNI Metro, BART, SMART, VTA, RT Light rail, and more for your intracity commute. In Vermont, you can expect to mainly rely on the Vermont Agency of Public Transportation for commuting.

This is the body responsible for the public transportation system in the state. Vermont offers plenty of public transport options, which can enable you to traverse the state through affordable means, even if you don’t possess a vehicle of your own!

By Road:

Public buses ply to and forth various spots within the state. Private taxicab services offered by companies like Lyft and GreenCab VT also make your life easier in terms of road travel. There are also several bus services rendered by companies like Greyhound, Vermont Translines, Green Mountain Transit, etc, the tickets for which you can book online.

By Airways:

The Burlington International Airport, located 6 kilometers east of the Burlington center in the city of Burlington is the state’s only international airport. This airport, however, can be accessed from across the world servicing all the major airlines including JetBlue, United, American Airlines, etc.

Even though this airport is quite centrally located in Vermont, taxicab services are available from the airport, which can enable you to reach your desired destination with minimum hassle.

By Train:

The AMTRAK Vermonter connects passengers from New York and Washington DC to Rutland and St. Albans. This train has stops at several smaller stations in Vermont including Albany, Springfield, MA, Amherst Brattleboro, White River Junction, Montpelier, Waterbury, and Burlington.

By Ferries:

The ferry is yet another interesting, accessible mode of transportation across the state. The Vermont Ferries plies in and around the areas of Lake Chaplain and Chaplain Islands and can be availed of by residents and tourists alike. You can even catch a ferry to and from Port Kent in New York to Burlington in Vermont.

Also See: Moving to Vermont

Popular Cities To Live In

1. Burlington

Burlington is the biggest city in the state of Vermont, and perhaps, the most sophisticated. It is situated on the east of Lake Champlain and tends to be generally hotter and more humid than the rest of Vermont. Burlington boasts of a sturdy health and education infrastructure, as it is home to the University of Vermont and the University of Vermont’s Medical Center respectively.

It is a city that places a lot of emphasis on public health and well-being and also hosts Vermont’s only International Airport. This makes it a city that is not only self-sufficient but also well-connected enough to make it a home.

Median home value: $386,900
Average market rent: $1,500/month
Average monthly net salary: $2,102.83 (After Taxes)

2. Rutland

What began as a tiny hamlet on Otto Creek in the 19th century is today a flourishing hub of enlightenment and culture. Rutland is the third-largest city in the state and home to the Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport in North Clarendon.

It has an extensive network of schools, public and private colleges as well as fairly advanced healthcare facilities. Rutland also has several spots of historical significance like the Rutland Free Library, the Paramount Theatre, etc.

It is also always alive and thrumming with frequent farmers’ markets, the Vermont State Fairs, Rutland Winter Fests, and is the perfect place to move to if you like small-town charm paired with great business opportunities.

Median home value: $227,849
Average market rent: $750/month
Average monthly net salary: $3,972 (After Taxes)

3. Montpelier

If the name sounds vaguely French, that’s because it is. This capital city is named after the famous French city of Montpellier and is just as beautiful. It resides in the north-central area of Vermont and is known for its extended snowy winters with temperatures dropping as low as 0 °F or below!

Insurance companies and tourism are the two towering industries in Montpelier and it is also a natural haven consisting of multiple parks including the gorgeous Hubbard Park, the Mill Pond Park, and the North Branch Park.

All in all, Montpelier is an excellent city to reside in with family and offers equal opportunities for employment and leisure.

Median home value: $332,112.
Average market rent: $875/month
Average monthly net salary: $3,972 (After Taxes)

FAQs On Moving from California to Vermont

How Much Does It Cost To Move From California To Vermont?

The average cost of moving from California to Vermont would be around $5,000. These costs might vary significantly depending on various factors including your choice of moving companies, transportation, amount of goods to be moved, etc.

Is It Cheaper To Live In Vermont Or California?

Vermont, owing to its smaller area and lesser population, is definitely cheaper to live in than California in every regard. It is less expensive in terms of general utility bills, home value, costs of commute as well monthly rent. While it might not offer the opportunities and exposure that living in California might offer, it is 14.3% cheaper than California.

How Many Hours Is It From California To Vermont?

The distance between California and Vermont is 3,073 miles. This distance can be traversed via a flight to the Burlington International Airport located in Burlington, Vermont.

Which Is The Best City To Live In Vermont?

Vermont has a nice array of comfortable and affordable cities to live in; Burlington, Rutland, and Montpelier are the top three cities to live in, in terms of employment opportunities, connectivity, self-sufficiency, health, and education infrastructure.

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